Today in the Holy Mother Church, as we celebrate this great Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, we not only honor Peter, the first Pope,but also the unbroken line of the Papacy. We honor The Magisterium of the Church, that is, the teaching authority over all the faithful. We should rejoice in the spiritual authority that the Holy Father has been entrusted with as the Vicar of Christ, which means in person of Christ here on earth. Jesus Christ did not abandon the faithful and entrusted the care of His Church to St. Peter and his line of successors. He sent His Apostles to teach as the Father in Heaven had instructed. The Apostles were given charge over continuing Christ’s mission as infallible Master. He demanded absolute obedience to this teaching function.
“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:18-19
The Catechism teaches that “it is the Magesterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error” so that “the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. (CCC 890). Pope Leo XIII wrote: ‘Wherefore, as appears from what has been said, Christ instituted in the Church a living authoritative and permanent Magisterium, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of truth He taught, and by miracles confirmed. He willed and ordered, under the gravest penalties, that its teachings should be received as if they were His own. As often therefore, as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine revelation, it must be believed by everyone as true. If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows: for then God Himself would be the author of error in man.’
Jesus reveals to us that ‘He is the way, the Truth and the Life,’in John 14:6. So we should assume that all who teach in His name, as Vicars of Christ, would be infallible, and in their teaching they are; but unfortunately popes are human and prone to sin. They are men in need of God’s saving grace just like the rest of us. And sometimes when speaking, they stray from the truth that has been passed down continuously from Jesus and Peter. The Church has never taught that a pope’s actions would be free from sin, quite the contrary, the Church has always said that we don’t worship the man, we respect the office and trust in Christ’s promise that He would be with us; be with His Church until the end of time; and that He would send His Holy Spirit to guide Her.
We need to pray for our Holy Mother Church, that the visible head remain faithful to Her teachings, and that they do not stray or speak as if to spread confusion among the faithful.One should not be left to wonder exactly what it is, that the ‘Holy father’ has said... We need to pray that the Holy Father remember his role as the visible instrument of Christ Himself, every time he exercises this sacred role. Remember, it is only when the Pope speaks in accordance with the Tradition of the Magisterium that he is infallible, not when he makes those off the cuff remarks, to a secular media that is waiting to find a loosened cog. The fallen world is eager, like a band of hungry beasts, just waiting for a chance to sink its teeth into the Mother Church, and drag it into the depths of sin…and somehow destroy what God deigned Holy. Do not lose faith…. Jesus promised that the Church would always exist, and that the gates of hell would not prevail against Her. The pope does not have the authority to change what has always been taught in the Church. It cannot happen.
As faithful Catholics we must pray and offer sacrifices for the Holy Mother Church and for those shepherds entrusted with Her care. Let us offer our prayers for the Church during these times when our current Holy Father seems to relish in the confusion that stems from his remarks. Division within the Church is nothing new. The Faithful have had these battles before…the Church has had less than exemplary popes in the past. We must remain steadfast in our prayers and perhaps use this coming lent as a means to sanctify not only ourselves, but all within the Church. Saint Peter, pray for us.
Prayer for the Church
O Jesus, living cornerstone and Head of Thy Church, which Thou hast redeemed, purchased, and cleansed with Thy holy Blood, preserve her, Thy spouse, from sacrilege, heresy, and schism; unite all her members in faith, hope, and charity; let the daily Sacrifice of the altar, and prayer, never cease, but be for ever presented to Thy heavenly Father to obtain us grace and blessing, pardon and salvation. Amen.